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U.S. Brewers Ass'n v. EPA

Citation: 9 ELR 20395
No. No. 77-1867, 600 F.2d 974/13 ERC 1112/(D.C. Cir., 05/23/1979)

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Solid Waste Management Guidelines for Beverage Containers, which require a five-cent refundable deposit on all beverage containers sold at federal facilities. The court first denies a motion to dismiss the petition to review the guidelines for want of jurisdiction. The guidelines were issued pursuant to the Resource Recovery Act of 1970 which has no judicial review provisions. EPA's refusal to repeal the guidelines in response to petitioners' request following enactment of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 is reviewable under the latter statute, however, because the petition was filed within 90 days of the Agency's denial of the request. Moving to the merits, the court determines that the guidelines were lawfully promulgated under § 209(a) of the 1970 Act. Petitioners' contention that the guidelines exceed the grant of power contained in § 1008 of the 1976 Act is ripe for judicial review, but their accompanying argument that the guidelines fall short of the statutory mandate is not ripe because the Agency is still well within the one-year compliance period granted by the statute. After reviewing both the statutory language and the legislative history, the court rejects petitioners' challenges and concludes that the guidelines represent a valid exercise of EPA's power under § 1008 of the 1976 Act as well.

Counsel for Petitioners
William D. Tyler
Dawson, Riddell, Taylor, Davis & Holroyd
723 Washington Bldg., Washington DC 20005
(202) 393-6900

Counsel for Respondents
James W. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General; Angus Macbeth, Mark R. Sussman
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2752

Joan Z. Bernstein, General Counsel; Meredith Wright
Environmental Protection Agency, Washington DC 20460
(202) 755-2511

Before: BAZELON, LEVENTHAL and ROBB, Circuit Judges.